Tuberculosis (TB)

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Symptoms of Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis stages | Tuberculosis Symptoms | Tuberculosis Treatment |

Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis that affects our lungs. However, it can also spread to other body parts, such as the kidneys, the spine, or the brain. TB is spread through bacteria through droplets in the air. It can also be spared from person to person through the air. TB, in most cases, is curable through medications that need to be consumed for a prolonged period of 9 months, but it can get complicated.

Stages

  • Exposure: At this stage, the person has become infected by meeting the other person who has TB. At this stage, there are no signs or symptoms of TB
  • Active TB: Active TB can happen when the immune system is weakened due to other illnesses; in that case, the bacteria multiply fast, and the symptoms are more visible. In this case, there is a high chance of spreading the bacteria to others
  • Latent TB: In the case of latent TB, infection is present in the body, but there are no symptoms to prove it. TB can be there but is not contagious as it is not an active disease. The doctor will give medications to cure TB  

Symptoms

One may have the bacteria of TB in the body but getting TB or not depends on the body’s immune system. Immune-compromised people tend to develop active TB. While coughing for more than three weeks constantly is one of the common signs of TB, there are other signs and symptoms of TB as mentioned below:

  • Coughing for more than three weeks
  • Blood in Cough
  • Chest Pain while coughing
  • Massive Weight Loss
  • Fatigue
  • Fever and Chills
  • Loss of Appetite

The bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis causes tuberculosis. Tb gets spread when any individual with active TB coughs or sneezes or when someone inhales the droplets with TB bacteria. Tuberculosis can get spared like the common cold and flu, and active TB can spread as people with active TB have a higher chance of developing the bacteria through the air. However, there is a high chance of TB getting spread indoors. Hence people who live together and stay together are at an increased risk of contracting TB.

Preventing TB requires efforts as it is easily contagious to others, putting close friends, colleagues, and family members at risk. When diagnosed with latent TB, the doctor prescribes certain medications to reduce the risk of developing active TB. However, if an individual is diagnosed with active TB, medications are given to reduce the impact of the bacteria such that it is no longer contagious. However, the list of precautions and safety measures increases:

  • It is advised to stay at home to reduce contact with others
  • Living in a ventilated room is a promising idea, as TB germs can spread more easily in small, closed spaces
  • Mouth should be covered during the time of cough and sneezing
  • The course of medications must be finished to get 100% relief

Treatment

If you have any symptoms, including fever, persistent cough, chills, and so on, it is essential to consult your primary healthcare provider. Your doctor might perform an examination, such as hearing your breath through a stethoscope and monitoring your swollen lymph nodes. Basis this examination, your doctor may advise you to go for Skin Test, Blood Test, and any other lab test as and when needed.

In the case of latent TB, your healthcare provider may give you the medicine for three to four months as the medication will help reduce the factors associated with the spread of TB. Furthermore, in the case of active TB, medicine must be taken for four to nine months. Regular visits to medical professionals will follow this.

What are the risks associated with TB?

Developing TB is contingent upon one’s immune system; some people get TB soon and become infected; however, for others, it may be like no TB for years or a lifetime. People with weak immune systems risk developing TB more than individuals with a standard immune system. People who have been infected with the below-mentioned diseases have a higher chance of developing TB:

  • HIV/AIDS
  • Came int contact with infected people
  • Children who are exposed to adults with TB are at risk

Disclaimer: This blog has been written after performing in-depth secondary research related to the topic from various articles, blogs, and journals that have expertise in writing for healthcare. Suppose you see any issues related to coughing, TB, or showing any symptoms associated with TB. We strictly advise you to seek medical consultation. 

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